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Pirates, Rockies benches empty

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Tempers flared between the Pirates and Rockies during Wednesday night’s game at PNC Park. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Rockies leading 3-0, starter German Marquez clearly unintentionally hit Francisco Cervelli with a first-pitch fastball.

There had been no prior offense from either team. While Cervelli stared at Marquez for a brief second, home plate umpire Chris Conroy was already in front of the plate, ready to stop anything from happening. However, catcher Tony Wolters started talking to Cervelli. Cervelli didn’t like what Wolters was saying. Botch teams’ benches and bullpens emptied, but nothing happened beyond some terse words being exchanged.

The three-game set between the two teams ended on Wednesday night. The Pirates and Rockies won’t meet again until after the All-Star break for a three-game weekend series in Colorado, so we’ll have to wait over a month to see if any grudges are held.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.